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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Driving with an expired inspection sticker out of state

    In NH I'm expected to register my car and get it inspected every year. Upon inspection I am issued a colored sticker that goes on the middle of my windshield. The problem is that I'm in New York now, and I'm driving back to school in Pennsylvania in August. Since my inspection expires in October, I wont have any time to get my car inspected (I'll be hundreds of miles away).

    So can I be ticketed in PA for having an expired NH inspection sticker? I will have a valid and current registration, as that can be renewed remotely and mailed to me.
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  2. #2
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    As long as you don't drive on any roads, you'll be fine.

  3. #3
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    funny
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    Depends where you drive. I know that in some areas of Colorado and Arizona, if you have expired *anything*, the local police will be pulling you over in seconds because it is revenue for their town. Other areas, such as larger metropolitan areas tend to not care as much, mainly because they end up spending time catching drunks than trying to look at every sticker going by.

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    As long as your registration is good, you won't get pulled over for an expired inspection; cops out of state won't know your sticker is expired unless they stop you and look at it, and if they do stop you, that sticker probably won't be the first thing they look at. If somehow your expired sticker does come to the attention of the police, you might well get some kind of a fine-toothed going over. Unless your otherwise valid registration is cancelled by the lack of an up-to-date inspection, though, you should be good to go.

    ps-> it is always good to keep your car street-legal though (brake lights, turn signals, headlights are the biggest giveaways, stay on top of those)

  6. #6
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    if you do get pulled over with an expired inspection sticker in a state where inspection is required, you might get a ticket.

    You might want to leave LI a few days early, swing thru NH, wave at the folks, and THEN head on down to PA - OR, transfer everything to PA & get your inspection there.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member travelmama's Avatar
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    Call the DMV.
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  8. #8
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    I thought when you renew your license by mail or web, the state driving authorities mailed you a sticker as well as the registration?


  9. #9
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    I'd get this taken care of ASAP.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclokitty View Post
    I thought when you renew your license by mail or web, the state driving authorities mailed you a sticker as well as the registration?
    Not an inspection sticker. That's a physical inspection an authorized station performs on your car to make sure it's street worthy.

    PC - I've had NH plates for the last 10 years but have not had an inspection sticker on any of my vehicles and have never had any issues. Admittedly, being military, I have a better explanation in that only one of my cars has been to NH! I've never been questioned about it. I've only been pulled over once - in MA - and the cop didn't even ask.

    I had one on one of my vehicles when I was stationed in Newport, RI and going back and forth to ME on a somewhat frequent basis, but once it expired, I just scraped it off.

    Since you're a student, I don't think you get much grace... but call the NH DMV and ask them. They'll tell you what you need to do, if anything.
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  11. #11
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    ... I don't think you get much grace...


    Agreed.

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    Senior Member TuckertonRR's Avatar
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    how can one state enforce another states' laws?? (ie; getting stopped & ticketed in PA for expired NH inspection). PA cop doesn't know NH law. What specific citation of PA law will he use as basis for the ticket/summons? And, again, how does PA law apply to NH motor vehicle inspection laws?? Now if you're in NH and get pulled over.....different story...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TuckertonRR View Post
    how can one state enforce another states' laws?? (ie; getting stopped & ticketed in PA for expired NH inspection). PA cop doesn't know NH law. What specific citation of PA law will he use as basis for the ticket/summons? And, again, how does PA law apply to NH motor vehicle inspection laws?? Now if you're in NH and get pulled over.....different story...
    This is the main thing. As long as you've got a valid registration and your car is in fact street-legal there's nothing they can do to you if you don't give them cause.

  14. #14
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuckertonRR View Post
    how can one state enforce another states' laws?? (ie; getting stopped & ticketed in PA for expired NH inspection). PA cop doesn't know NH law. What specific citation of PA law will he use as basis for the ticket/summons? And, again, how does PA law apply to NH motor vehicle inspection laws?? Now if you're in NH and get pulled over.....different story...
    A good question. Maybe interstate drivers should have their vehicles inspected at the state line. And maybe retake their driver's test too.

  15. #15
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I think the issue pretty much boils down to that: can another state enforce a NH-specific law? I think I'm going to wing it and do without the inspection sticker. When I drive home, I'll take the route so that I'm in NH for the shortest amount of time possible. The inspection station is 1/2 mile from my parent's house, so I'll get it taken care of the next day. Or I'll graduate, not drive home but end up living in NY and working at a the company I'm interning at now, maintain my NH plates, and never get it inspected again .
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  16. #16
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    But to not tempt fate I'll continue to drive conservatively -- a plate like NH in the middle of PA or NY sticks out -- and vigilantly ensure it's street legal. Anything to avoid being pulled over.
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  17. #17
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I think the issue pretty much boils down to that: can another state enforce a NH-specific law? I think I'm going to wing it and do without the inspection sticker. When I drive home, I'll take the route so that I'm in NH for the shortest amount of time possible. The inspection station is 1/2 mile from my parent's house, so I'll get it taken care of the next day. Or I'll graduate, not drive home but end up living in NY and working at a the company I'm interning at now, maintain my NH plates, and never get it inspected again .
    I disagree. The question is what Pennsylvania law you are violating. A more interesting twist is if you're involved in an accident and the investigating officer believes that the vehicle was unsafe to drive.

    There are laws that cover all these scenarios. It isn't wise to take counsel here on the matter.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by StupidlyBrave View Post
    A good question. Maybe interstate drivers should have their vehicles inspected at the state line. And maybe retake their driver's test too.
    That's getting into the difference between laws (license, registration) and rules (safety inspection criteria)

  19. #19
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    This is the main thing. As long as you've got a valid registration and your car is in fact street-legal there's nothing they can do to you if you don't give them cause.
    Yes, but to be valid in NH, you must have a current registration AND inspection to be street legal. So, technically, all the states must enforce the pair. Would you argue that PA, for example, doesn't have to enforce an expired registration for NH? States do have to honor each others laws. For example, some states require two license plates while others do not. If you are from a state that only requires one plate, a state that requires 2 can not cite you for not having the second one, since you are legal where you are registered.

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I think the issue pretty much boils down to that: can another state enforce a NH-specific law? I think I'm going to wing it and do without the inspection sticker. When I drive home, I'll take the route so that I'm in NH for the shortest amount of time possible. The inspection station is 1/2 mile from my parent's house, so I'll get it taken care of the next day. Or I'll graduate, not drive home but end up living in NY and working at a the company I'm interning at now, maintain my NH plates, and never get it inspected again .
    That is a bad idea. Most, if not all, states require you to register your cars there when you become a resident. Becoming a resident happens when you live there permanently, work there, vote there. There are a couple of exceptions. If you are a full time student, you may retain your home state while you are a student. You don't have to... you may switch to your school's state, too, if you choose. But check your school's state to be sure on what their requirements are. If you are military, no state can require you to become a resident based on your presence in the state based your military orders. You may keep your home of record and license, registration, voting etc etc. I live in CO, but am a NH resident... thus pay NH income tax; which is zero. After I retire this summer, I will have to assume residency in CO or wherever I move for a job, including getting a new license, registering my vehicles and paying the appropriate income tax.

    States do check this... I've had notices on my car requiring me to provide military orders or pay a fine for not registering in the state I was in. It's revenue, after all!
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  20. #20
    K2ProFlex baby! ilikebikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    As long as your registration is good, you won't get pulled over for an expired inspection; cops out of state won't know your sticker is expired unless they stop you and look at it, and if they do stop you, that sticker probably won't be the first thing they look at. If somehow your expired sticker does come to the attention of the police, you might well get some kind of a fine-toothed going over. Unless your otherwise valid registration is cancelled by the lack of an up-to-date inspection, though, you should be good to go.

    ps-> it is always good to keep your car street-legal though (brake lights, turn signals, headlights are the biggest giveaways, stay on top of those)

    In all the years I've been driving I only let the inspection stickers expire three times, and all three times while on my way to the garage I was pulled over and given tickets for expired stickers! I live in Philly BTW.
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